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$.50 per cookie

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hi all, new here, though I have been lurking for a loooong time picking up all manner of useful and awesome information from everyone. I started working with royal icing seriously about a year ago, and my piping/decorating skills are finally at a point where I am confident and have people asking if I take orders (which I don't - too many limitations for me, such as school, clinical work, and having a cat who would be very affronted if I told her she had to leave my house so I could procure a cottage license here). I have a long way to go, but suffice it to say, I am pleased with my work at this point.

I was reading some of the woes of cookie bakers who have encountered people who don't seem to understand how much work goes into decorating and balk at "high" prices, and I thought I'd share a story of my own.

I am working on a second degree and as a consequence am involved in student organizations for the second time around, despite being "older." One of the clubs I am involved in wanted to put on a bake sale - which makes sense, since it's a club for food and nutrition majors - and I volunteered to bake something for them. It was close to Halloween, so I did a spiderweb design with wet-on-wet that you'll see floating around the internet and piped on a spider. I bagged them and tagged them with clear cellophane, ribbon, and a little felt Halloween charm - Hobby Lobby had everything pretty much on sale for 50% off, so that part was peanuts. I did two dozen cookies.

I dropped them off with a friend so the organization leader (who is also "older" like me) could pick them up since I had to rush off to class, and I found out later they sold them for $.50 a cookie!!!

My friend said the leader had taken a look, and asked how much she thought they should be sold for - my friend said "a couple dollars?" and the leader apparently made a face, and said "fifty cents."

I was infuriated. I admit that my motivation was partially selfish in that I wanted my peers to see my work and show off a bit, and that it was out of my hands once the bag went to the club, but $.50! I vented to my friend that I could have just given them $12 in cash. The bake sale was in an area with lots of administrators and professionals who I know would have spent $2 on a cookie, especially when it was supporting a student org. I was hoping to give the club a financial boost.

Of course they sold out in a matter of minutes, I'm told, and of course the leader bought two for herself.

Lesson learned here for me was either accept that the only benefit here is in getting to show off, or bake drop cookies instead and send them in a ziploc bag.

Just thought I'd share. icon_smile.gif
post #2 of 27
I understand how you feel. The only thing I can say is that some folks are used to going to the grocery store and purchasing decorated cookies that come 12 in a pack for $3.00. If people take the time to actually taste what their putting in their mouths, instead of just swallowing it, they would be able to taste the difference between homemade and the grocery store product. Going down maybe good, but you tend to get an after tatste that they tend to ignore. But then again some just don't care. The leader won't be your type of customer that you will gear your business towards anyway! I hope you took pics for when your ready to start your business.
post #3 of 27
I had that happen before too...I made six dozen decorated sugar cookies and six dozen cupcakes iced with a swirl and then a molded chocolate on top (a paw print for the school mascot) and they sold them for a quarter each. The cookies never even made it to the sale table, one of the PTA moms bought them all to use as party favors.

The next year I sent two boxes of Little Debbie cakes like most of the other mothers had done.
post #4 of 27
Had this happen to me too. I made cheese cake and cut them and put them in little containers I bought. I brought my big cooler with ice and they sold the cheesecake for .50 a slice. There were some leftovers because I went overboard, lol. The pastor bought the rest of them for a staff meeting and borrowed my cooler... And I never got it back!!! The cleaning lady gave me a little one that was laying around. It's too little for toting my perishables around in, so I had to replace it. For the money I spent on the stuff, my time, and then replacing the cooler I should've just given them $120.
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #5 of 27
did the same for a bake sale at work. Made santa and reindeer cupcakes, made 50 total, was tired and knew I had to go home to make still more for my son's school the next day. They were selling them 50 cents each and the sale was going to be for 4 hours,, after 2 hours they discounted everything to 25 cents, I bought what was left of my cupcakes.. it was easier to pay 25 cents for the ones I donated and cheaper then baking more. I am with you I would much rather just donate $ or drop off the easy cookies....but this is where our pride and wanting to show off gets us into this.... lol I think we have all done this
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendabeeper

did the same for a bake sale at work. Made santa and reindeer cupcakes, made 50 total, was tired and knew I had to go home to make still more for my son's school the next day. They were selling them 50 cents each and the sale was going to be for 4 hours,, after 2 hours they discounted everything to 25 cents, I bought what was left of my cupcakes.. it was easier to pay 25 cents for the ones I donated and cheaper then baking more. I am with you I would much rather just donate $ or drop off the easy cookies....but this is where our pride and wanting to show off gets us into this.... lol I think we have all done this



OMG, that is so sad!!
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #7 of 27
Bake Sales are like flea markets and put people in a different frame of mind. Since everything is donated the organizers, unfortunately, consider any price to be a profit. I agree with other posters, it's easier (and less aggravating) to just donate a few dollars and not spend time and money making something special.

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post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone. I am so glad to see that I am not the only person to have done this!

Texas_Rose, that is HORRIBLE. I am glad the organizer at my event only bought two or I would have felt like she was stealing, in a way.
post #9 of 27
Had this same experience with bake sale held by the auxiliary for a local hospital. Donated two 8 inch round cakes decorated to the nines with the tastiest buttercream.
They sold for $5 dollars each ...........to the lady pricing items.
Hmmm. Shall we just say there was a definite conflict of interest there.
I down sized my cakes from then on, but she always seemed to cut them off at the marking table.
I was "unavailable" the last time they called me. I'd rather send a donation than turn on my oven sometimes.


mommachris

wife to David for 25 years
mom to 13 blessings
Nine who are still living at home that range from 22 to 4 years old.
Holly, Amy, Aaron, Evelyn, Zebedee, Melody, William, Melissa and little Tobin
and four more sweet babies in heaven.

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wife to David for 25 years
mom to 13 blessings
Nine who are still living at home that range from 22 to 4 years old.
Holly, Amy, Aaron, Evelyn, Zebedee, Melody, William, Melissa and little Tobin
and four more sweet babies in heaven.

Reply
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommachris

I was "unavailable" the last time they called me. I'd rather send a donation than turn on my oven sometimes.mommachris



My sentiments exactly. I once donated two gingerbread houses to a local organization. My retail price was $75 each. They GAVE them away as door prizes.

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post #11 of 27
You know to sell them so cheap and then the organizer/s be the one to buy them, yup, I see that as stealing. This topic has me a little freaked out, cause I actually volunteered for the bake sale this year. Now I am not sure if that was a good idea.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

You know to sell them so cheap and then the organizer/s be the one to buy them, yup, I see that as stealing. This topic has me a little freaked out, cause I actually volunteered for the bake sale this year. Now I am not sure if that was a good idea.



If it's a benefit for a group you support, go ahead and participate. But whatever you decide to make, just don't put your heart into it thinking it may bring you future business. Make simple drop cookies or small muffins, something inexpensive that doesn't take too much time.

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post #13 of 27
Luckily the last Bake sale I did they had us price our own stuff. I sold cupcakes for $2 and Chocolate covered pretzel sticks for $1. People were more than happy to pay the prices and leave change behind. This was for a suicide prevention dinner. Someone sold whole apple and cherry pies for $10. Most people paid $20 they told her she priced them too cheap!
post #14 of 27
I kinda had the same thing happen last year...I donated 100 cupcakes to the volunteer tea at my daughters elementary school.They have this every year to thank the volunteers for helping throughout the year..I thought they would put the cupakes out on the tables on platters randomly etc as they do with other desserts/cookies etc that the teachers bake themselves...so when I went to the tea they had just stuck a 6 pkg clam shell on each table and opened it up..Well at the end of the tea Moms/volunteers were walking out with full 6 pk clamshells in their hands..I was so livid...If I wanted to give all the Moms free cupcakes I would have....and many knew I made them and walked by and smiled.."Nice cupcakes" (but of course never order anything)...Grrrrr I was so pissed!! Never again!!

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Busy Bakin Kakes For Kids!!!

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post #15 of 27
Your story reminded me of a similar event that happened to me, every year my kids school has a holiday bake sale (the kids are the customers) the first year I got there I donated decorated minis (7 in a bag) wrapped with a satin ribbon. I was very aggravated when I found out they had been sold for $0.50 they also went quickly I swore that would NOT happen again.

The next year I bake again but I made a much simpler cookie and only put them in a Ziploc bag, I told them I wanted them priced at $1.00 which they respected. By the 3rd year I would volunteer at the event and was placed at the bake table that year I made simple snowflakes & snowman heads and I priced them at $2.00. I watched as the 100 cookies sold out within 1 hour.

This year was my 4th year brining cookies to the event, now "known" at the school as the cookie lady the kids run over to buy the cookies. This year I volunteered again and made less cookies but more elaborate designs which I priced at $3. and didn't allow the teachers to buy (due to my limited qty) and managed to sell out within the first hour again. All this to say don't be shy to speak up and say what you feel they are worth I'd rather bring my cookies back home than to have them devalued by someone who has NO clue as to what it takes to decorate a cookie.
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